How can I prevent my puppy from chewing on furniture?


Bringing a new puppy into your home can be an exciting and joyful experience. However, dealing with their natural chewing instincts can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to your furniture. If you find yourself constantly wondering, “How can I prevent my puppy from chewing on furniture?” you’re not alone. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective strategies to protect your furniture and redirect your puppy’s chewing behavior to more appropriate alternatives.

Understanding Why Puppies Chew

Puppies explore their surroundings through their mouths, which means chewing is a natural behavior for them. Understanding the underlying reasons behind their chewing can help you address the issue more effectively. Puppies may chew on furniture due to teething discomfort, boredom, anxiety, or simply out of curiosity. By identifying the root cause, you can tailor your prevention strategies accordingly.

 Puppy-Proofing Your Home

Before bringing your new puppy home, it’s crucial to puppy-proof your living space to minimize the chances of them accessing furniture they shouldn’t chew on. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Keep valuables out of reach: Remove any valuable or sentimental items from surfaces your puppy can reach, reducing the temptation to chew on them.
2. Use pet gates: Install pet gates to restrict access to certain areas of your home, including rooms with delicate furniture or items that pose a potential hazard.
3. Cover furniture: Use slipcovers or protective barriers to cover your furniture temporarily until your puppy learns appropriate chewing behavior.

 Providing Appropriate Chew Toys

One effective way to prevent your puppy from chewing on furniture is to provide them with suitable alternatives. Here’s what you can do:

1. Choose durable chew toys: Opt for toys specifically designed for puppies, such as rubber or nylon chew toys, which are more durable and satisfying for their teething needs.
2. Variety is key: Offer a variety of textures, shapes, and sizes to keep your puppy engaged and prevent boredom.
3. Rotate toys: Introduce new toys regularly while rotating older ones to maintain your puppy’s interest.

Using Taste Deterrents

If your puppy persists in chewing on furniture despite having appropriate chew toys, you can use taste deterrents to discourage them from continuing. Here’s how:

1. Bitter sprays: Apply a pet-safe bitter spray, available at pet supply stores, on the furniture surfaces your puppy tends to chew. The unpleasant taste will deter them from mouthing those areas.
2. Citrus or vinegar solutions: Create a mixture of water and citrus or vinegar and spray it on the furniture. Most puppies dislike the smell and taste, acting as a natural deterrent.

Training and Reinforcement Techniques

Training plays a crucial role in preventing destructive chewing habits. By employing positive reinforcement methods, you can redirect your puppy’s attention to appropriate chewing outlets. Here are some training techniques to consider:

1. Teach the “Leave It” command: Train your puppy to respond to the “Leave It” command, rewarding them with treats or praise when they successfully divert their attention from furniture to a toy or treat.
2. Encourage positive associations: Associate positive experiences with appropriate chew toys by using treats, praise, or interactive play. This helps your puppy understand that chewing on their toys is rewarding.

Supervising and Redirecting Chewing Behavior

Supervision is crucial in the early stages of preventing chewing on furniture. By actively monitoring your puppy’s behavior and redirecting their attention, you can reinforce positive habits. Here’s what you can do:

1. Keep an eye on your puppy: Supervise your puppy when they are in areas with furniture until they learn appropriate behavior.
2. Catch them in the act: If you catch your puppy chewing on furniture, redirect their attention to a toy or bone they are allowed to chew on, praising them for making the right choice.

Managing Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can contribute to destructive chewing behaviors. If your puppy becomes anxious when left alone, they may resort to chewing furniture as a coping mechanism. Consider the following strategies to manage separation anxiety:

1. Gradual desensitization: Help your puppy become more comfortable with being alone by gradually increasing the time they spend in a separate room or crate. Start with short intervals and gradually extend them over time.
2. Provide interactive toys: Leave interactive toys or treat-dispensing puzzles to keep your puppy mentally stimulated and occupied during your absence.

 Crate Training as a Prevention Method

Crate training can be an effective tool to prevent your puppy from chewing on furniture when you’re unable to supervise them. Here are some key points to remember:

1. Proper crate introduction: Introduce the crate as a positive and safe space by associating it with treats, toys, and positive reinforcement.
2. Gradual crate training: Start by leaving your puppy in the crate for short periods, gradually extending the time. Ensure the crate is comfortable and enticing, with appropriate chew toys available.

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why do puppies chew on furniture?

A: Puppies chew on furniture as part of their natural exploration, teething process, or due to boredom or anxiety.

Q: How do I choose the right chew toys for my puppy?

A: Look for durable toys specifically designed for puppies, considering their age, size, and chewing habits.

Q: Is it okay to punish my puppy for chewing furniture?

A: No, punishment can lead to fear and anxiety. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and redirection techniques.

Q: Can separation anxiety cause destructive chewing?

A: Yes, separation anxiety can contribute to destructive chewing behaviors. Managing anxiety through gradual desensitization and providing interactive toys can help.

Q: Should I consider professional training for my puppy’s chewing behavior?

A: If your puppy’s chewing behavior persists despite your efforts, seeking professional training or guidance from a veterinarian or dog behaviorist can be beneficial.

Q: How long does it take to train a puppy to stop chewing on furniture?

A: The duration of training can vary depending on the individual puppy and consistency of training methods. Be patient and persistent, as it may take several weeks or months to establish appropriate chewing habits.


Preventing your puppy from chewing on furniture requires a combination of proactive measures, training techniques, and patience. By understanding their natural instincts, providing appropriate chew toys, and redirecting their behavior, you can protect your furniture and guide your puppy towards healthier chewing habits. Remember to be consistent, reinforce positive behavior, and seek professional assistance if needed. With time and dedication, you can successfully prevent your puppy from chewing on furniture, creating a harmonious and enjoyable living environment for both you and your furry companion.


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Cat Hocking

Having had dogs all of my life I have learnt so much and continue to learn more with each individual dog that enters our family. These amazing creatures can teach us so much! In the Dog Care Guru I share information, resources and accessories for our canine children.

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